where i went afterward
On Earth I had been held, honeysuckled
not just by honeysuckle
but by everything — marigolds,
bog after bog of small sundews,
the cold smell of spruce.
This planet is nothing like that.
Here, I comb lank alien grass out of my hair.
I wade through monochrome swarms
of weeds, through ankle-high piles of ash.
I used to miss desire, but that was eons ago.
I used to miss the sound of my voice,
but that was before I pulled my name
from my throat like a pit and set fire
to the field of my face. When I say
my skin is lace, I mean I used to find it
lovely. Now there is nothing I miss.
If I stumbled upon this place again,
I would not know it.
I hold myself in my arms.
I bend against myself like grass, like this.
Claire Wahmanholm’s poems have most recently appeared in, or are forthcoming from, anthropoid, Fairy Tale Review, Winter Tangerine, New Poetry from the Midwest 2017, Saltfront, PANK, Bennington Review, The Collapsar, Newfound, Bateau, DIAGRAM, elsewhere, Best New Poets 2015, Handsome, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, The Journal, and The Kenyon Review Online. Her chapbook, Night Vision, won the 2017 New Michigan Press/DIAGRAM chapbook contest. Her debut full-length collection, Wilder, won the 2018 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry and is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions in November 2018. Her second collection, Redmouth, is forthcoming from Tinderbox Editions in the fall of 2019. She lives and teaches in the Twin Cities.
Hollis Johnson was born in 1993 in New Hampshire. He began pursuing photography in high school before attending the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, which he graduated from in 2015. He is currently based in New York City. His work projects uncanny sterility to banal objects and scenarios presented in tableau — snapshots of America drenched in sunlight yet trapped in antifreeze. His images narrate a lyrical world only just slightly askew of our own.